When Sir Isaac Newton wrote that a body in motion stays in motion, he was talking about physics, but it’s true for human beings as well! Staying fit and active requires you to move more and sit less, particularly if you want to enjoy a healthy, active retirement. Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve your fitness, and choosing a retirement community, like Jacaranda Trace, that supports active living can be an excellent first step.
The Secrets to Active, Healthy Aging
Doctors recommend doing 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity, most days to stay healthy, it can be standing or even seated. If you’re a long-term couch potato, that may seem like a lot, but you don’t need to do it all at once. Two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute bursts work just as well.
Don’t picture yourself struggling to keep up with muscle-bound athletes at a gym, either. According to the American Heart Association, any physical activity counts as cardio if it “makes the heart beat faster and can make breathing harder than normal, but still allows for one to carry on a conversation.”
Naturally, you’ll want to check with your own physician before beginning any new exercise program, particularly if you have any chronic conditions.
Get on The Path to Fitness
One of the best kinds of exercise for seniors, brisk walking, requires no gym membership or special equipment. Walking briskly raises your heart rate and is also weight-bearing, so it helps strengthen your bones. Grab a water bottle, pop on some headphones and music, or grab a friend or pet to keep you company, and you’re all set. At Jacaranda Trace, they even have a weekly walking club to help motivate each other.
Other fun, low-impact ways to get moving include hiking, swimming, water aerobics, line dancing, square dancing, clogging, and riding a bicycle. The options are endless!
Because bodies begin losing muscle after age 30, it’s important to mix in some exercise focused on building strength. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re a newbie, start slowly, using one- or five-pound weights. No weights? No problem! Use canned goods, water bottles, or books as your weights. Or work with resistance bands—stretchy loops in various lengths—to add challenge to arm and leg exercises. If you want entertainment while you exercise, keep your equipment near the television or use commercial breaks to complete a few exercises.
Later, you might enjoy using the strength training equipment or free weights at your active living community with the guidance of a personal trainer.
It’s also beneficial for seniors to participate in activities that improve flexibility and balance. This may alleviate some aches and pains today and help you avoid falls and injuries in the future.
Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong are gentle, time-honored ways to keep you bendable and loose. Pilates, which combines yoga and resistance exercise elements, is another good choice for maintaining muscle tightness and joint stiffness at bay. Simple old-fashioned calisthenics and swimming (which, by the way, is cardio) can also do the trick.
Count the Benefits
Beginning an exercise program as a senior can make you feel better physically and boost your emotional outlook, restore energy, and fuel your brain. Exercise can even improve chronic health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Get moving today—make it your first step toward a more fit and active retirement!
Active senior living communities, like Jacaranda Trace, typically offer fully equipped exercise facilities and a full calendar of fitness classes, along with a personal trainer to help you every step of the way. They make it easy to try new activities until you find one you like, and to participate in a variety so you don’t become bored with just one. To learn more about Jacaranda Trace’s countless options for staying fit and active, contact us or schedule a personal appointment